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Insight: Pope Retires / CEQA Changes? / Housing Recovery / Ghana Hiplife / Author Margarita Engle

Published February 11, 2013

Pope Retires- Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world Monday by announcing his plans to retire Feb. 28 because of health issues. Pope Benedict would be the first pope to leave the Catholic Church's highest post before death in nearly 600 years. Joining us to explain how Catholic priests and parishioners in the Sacramento region are reacting to the news is Rev. Monsignor James T. Murphy, Vicar General/Moderator for the Curia for the Roman Catholic Diocese in Sacramento.

CEQA Changes?- The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has its fans and opponents. Some blame its strict measures for the current economic climate in the state while others ardently defend its environmental practices. Gov. Brown is taking another look at CEQA and we'll hear from two sides of the debate. Joining us to discuss the issues are Bruce Reznik, with the Planning and Conservation League and Attorney Jennifer Hernandez, a member of the CEQA Working Group's legal team.

Housing Recovery- America's housing industry is improving, but for many Northern California homeowners the recovery is a distant fantasy. In the Sacramento Valley, you'll find four major metropolitan cities with some of the nation's highest foreclosure rates. The federal and state government are providing cash assistance to distressed homeowners facing foreclosure but many people are having a hard time getting the aid they need to keep their house. Keep Your Home California Program Director Di Richardson joins us to explain the difficulty of connecting financially-strapped homeowners with the help they need to avoid foreclosure. The federally funded mortgage-assistance program is planning to help steer people through the aid application process.

Ghana Hiplife- Some people dismiss popular American hip-hop because it sometimes glorifies violence, greed and misogyny. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find different styles of music with traces of the culture where the sound originated. One place this is especially prominent is the West African nation of Ghana. There, hip hop artists have been borrowing so heavily from century-old indigenous music they've created a new style hip-hop referred to as "hiplife." UC Davis Associate Professor and Director of African Studies Halifu Osumare has recently written a book about the new type of music and the twenty year evolution of the sound. It's called "The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop" and she'll be reading from the book at UC Davis Wednesday.

Author Margaita Engle- Margarita Engle is the first Latin-American winner of the Newbery Honor and a celebrated author of young-adult novels written in verse. "I love to write about young people who made hopeful choices in situations that seemed hopeless" Engle has said. Her work will be featured in UC Davis' annual Words Take Wing event, celebrating children's literature as art. She joins us in the studio today.


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